Potty training your child is typically a big event for the whole family. Potty training should not be a stressful time in your and your child’s life, but, instead, a time of celebration. Once your child is potty trained, she has reached an important milestone in her young life.
New parents often have questions related to potty training. When is my child ready? How do I begin? Should I offer rewards? How young is too young? While different children will potty train at different ages, there are several signs you can look for concerning the readiness of your child for potty training.
Does she have regular bowel movements at a similar time daily? Can she go for several hours without soiling or wetting her diaper? Does she act interested when you or other family members use the bathroom? Does it bother her to be wet or messy? Finally, does she tell you when she needs to go, or when she is in the process of wetting her diaper?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, your child may be ready to start potty training. Some children begin potty training as young as eighteen months, while others may be as old as three. The average age is typically around two years to two and a half years old.
Once you have determined that your child is ready to potty train, you need to decide what words you will use when you talk to her about using the bathroom. Try to refrain from using a lot of negative words. She is about to learn a normal and healthy habit, and she shouldn’t perceive it as being something dirty and bad.
As you talk to your child about potty training, you may want to point out some of the many advantages she will have once she is potty trained. You can tell her that she can have pretty new panties. (You might want to let her help you pick out some pretty panties, or you could let your little boy pick out some cute underwear.) You can point out that her older brother or sister or her older friends don’t wear diapers. You can tell her that she will be able to dress herself like a big girl.
You can buy her a potty training book with lots of pictures. You might want to keep the book beside her potty for her to look at as she sits on the potty chair. You can also purchase videos that deal with potty training.
It is important to begin potty training during a period of time that doesn’t have any undue stress, such as a move to a new house, a divorce, or a new baby. Be sure you set up a routine. Have her go at specific times during the day. For example, as soon as she wakes up, you could take her to the potty. After her midmorning snack, you could take her again. You definitely want to take her to the potty before her naptime and bedtime.
Don’t worry if she can’t go every time, or she doesn’t go at all in the beginning. It is important that you don’t pressure her to perform. You can sit with her and chat about your day or maybe sing a song. If she is having difficulty, you can try several different techniques.
You might want to turn on the bathroom faucet, or you can give her a bucket filled with warm water and some of her tub toys. Once she puts her hands in the warm water, she may be able to urinate. The important thing to remember is she should associate bathroom time as a pleasant part of her day.
If you would like to use a reward system for your child’s successes, there are a variety of incentives you can try. Some parents like to keep a jar of their child’s favorite treat, such as candy, cookies, gum.
Others like to use stickers. You could give your child a pretty book or calendar to place her stickers in. You might tell her that if she gets a set amount of stickers, you will take her to see a movie or buy her a special toy. Eventually, once your child has become adept at using the potty, you can phase out the reward system.
One important point to remember is if you are potty training a little boy, you need to have him begin urinating in the potty by sitting down. Once he has mastered the concept of using the potty, you can let him stand up. Some parents use targets in the bottom of the potty to help their son aim in the right direction.
Anytime your child has success, you need to praise her. In the beginning, you might only be praising her for sitting calmly on the potty. Eventually, as she begins to use the potty, though, be sure and point out how proud you are of her. With a patient and loving attitude, you can help your child become potty trained.Anytime